Why awareness is good

Watching the show, without getting swept up in it, leads to greater peace of mind

Life does not consist mainly  – or even largely – of facts and happenings.

It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

Mark Twain

Moving and not moving

Please clearly understand that when the mind is still, it’s in its natural, normal state.

As soon as the mind moves, it becomes conditioned (sankhāra). When the mind likes something, it becomes conditioned. When not-liking arises, it becomes conditioned. The desire to move here and there arises from conditioning.

If our awareness doesn’t keep pace with these mental proliferations as they occur, the mind will chase after them and be conditioned by them. Whenever the mind moves, at that moment, it becomes a conventional reality.

So the Buddha taught us to contemplate these wavering conditions of the mind.

Ajahn Chah

When thinking doesn’t help

Think of a problem that has plagued you for a long time — your weight, a loved one’s bad habits, fear of terrorism, whatever. No doubt you’ve tried valiantly to control this issue, but are your efforts working? The answer has to be no; otherwise you would have solved the problem long ago. What if your real trouble isn’t the issue you brood about so compulsively, but the brooding itself.

Martha Beck, Victory by Surrender, Creating your right life

Either holding on or pushing away

Building on the ideas in yesterday’s post…

The way we know things depends on the mind,  nothing more.

Most of us have moments of deep contentment when we don’t feel a need to alter, express, run from, or invest some special meaning in our experience in any way.  Deep contentment shows us that, at least momentarily, our habit of cherishing and protecting ourselves from what we call “other” has subsided. In moments like these we have stopped objectifying things. We can let things be. And when the mind rests at ease in this way, it accommodates everything, like space.

Elizabeth MattisNamgyelThe Power of an Open Question

 

Underneath the grey clouds

Even on a grey snowy morning like this one…

The mind is luminous, brightly shining,  and this is never absent. However, it is sullied by incoming defilements, coloured by the thoughts and emotions that people put upon it. If you were to see the luminous freedom of the mind, you would cultivate it before anything else, keeping it free from all attachments

Anguttara Nikaya, early Buddhist scripture